A Word from Pastor Stefan
A Purpose Driven Life
For in God all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, … all things have been created through God and for God. (Colossians 1:16)
Dear friends, everything was created by God with a purpose. Through our Explore God discussion in January, the purpose question came up, and as we approach the season of Lent, we thought it would be helpful to go deeper with this important question on purpose. God’s purpose is to create, to grow, and sustain what God created. God does have a purpose for us, too. The general purpose is to be in a relationship with us and out of this loving and caring relationship, we will discover our individual purpose that God has in mind for us.
The season of Lent is a perfect time to go deeper in our spiritual journey. The early Christians in the 4th century used a forty-day time frame before Easter to fast and use this time as preparation to get ready for Easter. The bible uses 40 days often as a time of change and transformation. Noah’s life and the life of his family was transformed by 40 days of rain.
Moses’ life was transformed by 40 days on Mount Sinai receiving God’s commandments. The entire city of Nineveh was transformed when God gave the people 40 days to change their sinful lives and repent. Jesus was empowered by 40 days in the wilderness, that helped him to focus on his life purpose. The disciples were transformed by 40 days with Jesus after his resurrection to focus on their purpose in their lives.
We have an opportunity to use these upcoming 40 days before Easter to focus on God’s purpose for our lives. We would like to read with you, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. Some years ago, Christus Victor read with many other churches, The Purpose Driven Life. Out of this book, many good things happened. For example, Sandy Mueller identified her purpose of hospitality and cooking for people. She started a Thanksgiving meal at church where people who were alone or didn’t have a Thanksgiving meal were invited. Today, this meal has grown into a large outreach event where all people from the community are invited.
So, the Spirit moves us to read this book again and see how it will help all of us to live purpose-filled lives. We start on Ash Wednesday (March 6th) at 6:00pm with a delicious meal prepared by the Thanksgiving Outreach Team (funny that they are preparing the first meal for us!). Following the meal, we will worship together with our well-liked Holden Evening Service. After the service, at approximately 7:30pm, we will offer discussion groups on The Purpose Driven Life. We are planning to read a chapter per week. Here is a foretaste from the book.
You were made by God and for God – and until you understand that, life will never make sense. It is only in God that we discover our origin, our identity, our meaning, our purpose, our significance, and our destiny … It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ, Christ had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. (pages 18&20).
May the 40 days of Lent help all of us to grow closer to God who will help us to identify our purpose for our lives. Looking forward to seeing you all and please invite a neighbor, friend, or family member to join you.
May God bless your Lenten journey,